Sunday, 19 September 2010

Bristol Organic Food Festival

The Community Farm
at Bristol Organic Food Fair

After visiting Bristol Organic Food Fair for the first time last Sunday I'm left feeling if I could visit only one during the year this would be it.  Held in the fantastic setting of the regenerated Harbourside, the event was well organised, had a great family atmosphere and really interesting producers.  The standard of organic food represented was high.  Laverstoke Park, Dove Farm, Pertwood Organics, Helen Browning's Organic Meat, Riverford Organic Vegetables, Yeo Valley (a sponsor) and Roskilly Ice-creams amongst the better known producers.  The less widely known Wootton Organic Dairy, Brown Cow Organics, The Ham and Cheese Company and the Cornish based Origin Coffee were there too.

Bath-based Richard Bertinet had a stand promoting his excellent breads and cookery school and provided a hugely entertaining and educational session in the demonstration kitchen.  Producing a pan of Moules Mariniere, a fougasse, and giving a masterclass in bread making with the help of two amateurs, he managed a "loaves and fishes" feat to ensure everyone got a taste. He even enlisted Cono Sur Chilean wines to provide a sauvignon blanc to wash it down.  Bertinet rightly picked up the Soil Association "Best Bread Award" for his sourdough.  Having watched Richard Bertinet and tasted his bread, I can't wait to sign up for a bread-making class myself.

Considering the festival was billed as a 'food' festival, non-food stands were in abundance.  I am still a little bemused by a stand which was offering a household spray to wash salad, fruit and veg - why would you want to do that?  What's wrong with water? 
The Festival was a showcase for groups like the one pictured above.  The Community Farm located in nearby Chew Magna, is a not for profit project which aims to connect people with the land and the food they eat.  Another stand with an interesting idea was Swapcrop - a website to bring together people who have grown excess fruit and veg with makers of home-made jams and preserves.

Local musicians and an Aussie sheep-shearer competed to provide entertainment, but I think the sheep with the dreds won.  Mark this is in your diary for 2011.

Take a look at these: